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Injuries Fail To Dampen Croatian Spirit

12 June 2015
EUROBASKET WOMEN 2015
14. Luca Ivankovic (Croatia)
Latvia failed to find a solution to shutting down Luca Ivankovic in the paint

Croatia grabbed the headlines on day two of EuroBasket Women 2015 as they rocked the Final Round by shrugging off their injury crisis to stun Latvia in Szombathely. 

Leading the way in a memorable 67-63 success was Iva Sliskovic, who came up with a smart 15 points and six rebounds, as well as the go-ahead play during crunch time.

"All the odds were against us," said the forward, as Croatia defied losing six key players across the preparation process and their day one nightmare against Russia.

"We just stayed focused and with the game plan," she added.

"We defended their shooters really well and now we have to go step by step and not get ahead of ourselves."

Another team who love causing upsets is Slovak Republic as they took a second win in as many days in Group D.

They collected an 85-79 victory against Lithuania as Kristi Toliver and first game hero Zuzana Zirkova, amassed a combined 40 points.

There was high drama in Timisoara as Czech Republic got off the mark with a nerve-shredding 80-79 win against Ukraine.

Katerina Elhotova and Alena Hanusova shared 46 points, while veteran playmaker Veronika Bortelova made the game-winning free-throws and dished up ten assists.

Greece showed real mental strength as they overturned a dreadful start in Oradea against Italy to eventually ride to a 51-46 victory. George Dikeoulakos and his side had trailed 18-2 after the initial exchanges, but turned the game around thanks to 13 points from Aikaterina Sotiriou.

Also in Group B, Belarus brought their top level defence to the table as they waltzed their way to a 65-49 triumph against Poland to stay perfect.

The second day of the tournament also saw Romania and Hungary enter the fray, with the former crashing to a disappointing 79-61 defeat against Montenegro. Jelena Dubljevic scored 19 points and added seven assists, with team-mate Jelena Skerovic adding 10 assists for the winning team.

Hungary pushed Sweden hard in Group D, but were unable to avoid a 72-63 loss as their opponents took their first win thanks to the hot hand of Frida Eldebrink who poured in 28 points.

Finally, teenage ace Maria Vadeeva gave a glimpse into her unlimited potential with 13 points and eight rebounds for Russia as they breezed to a 71-40 win against Great Britain in Group C.

 

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